Toronto Family Law Lawyer John P. Schuman
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EDUCATION: Queens University and University of Windsor
ASSOCIATIONS: Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Association of Family Mediators, ADR Institute of Ontario, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Collaborative Practice Toronto, Ontario Paramedic Association and York Collaborative Practice.

John P. Schuman

B.A. (HONS.), LL.B., LL.M., C.S.

Featured Area of Practice:  Family Law

Other Areas of Practice: Appellate Advocacy GroupEducationFirst ResponderMediation


John is certified specialist in family law, and is an experienced and respected family lawyer in Toronto, education lawyer and children’s rights lawyer. John is the head of family law group at Devry Smith Frank LLP and he has earned the respect of his clients, judges, mediators and arbitrators for his sensible approach to resolving family law issues, his concern for children, and his understanding of complex financial matters.

John received his Honours B.A. from Queens University in 1994. He obtained his EMCA (paramedic designation) in 1995. John attended Law School at the University of Windsor, graduating in 1998. He then went on to complete his LL.M. in child and family law in 1999. John’s thesis on questioning child witnesses was published that same year and remains a frequently cited authority on the proper way to obtain the evidence of children.

John has always practised in the areas of family law and children’s rights. He articled at a prominent Toronto litigation firm. After John was called to the bar in 2001, he practised at a firm known for its work in children’s legal issues and family law. He was also counsel for a children’s aid society before joining a prominent Toronto family law litigation boutique. He joined Devry Smith & Frank in 2009, where he practices mostly in the area of family law.

John has litigated before every level of court in Ontario, several tribunals and the Supreme Court of Canada. Several of John’s cases have been reported in law reports. John’s cases involving children’s rights have been reported in the national media. John has earned the respect of the judges, mediators and arbitrators before whom he appears. In a recent court decision, Justice Sherr wrote “Mr. Schuman’s conduct in this case is an example of what lawyers are supposed to do in difficult cases.”

John Schuman has published articles in referred legal journals on the questioning of child witnesses, allegations of abuse when parents have separated, the role children should place in the court process and the rights of children to direct their own medical treatment. John is also the editor of the “Child in the Courtroom” chapter of Wilson on Children and the Law. He is co-author of the Child Protection Proceedings Chapter in Evidence in Family Law. John’s book “Guide to the Basics of Family Law” is available on Amazon – click here or here.

John is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Association of Family Mediators, the ADR Institute of Ontario, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Collaborative Practice Toronto, the Ontario Paramedic Association and he is on the board of directors of York Collaborative Practice.

John regularly contributes to the DSF Blog, you can see his entries here. He is also very often a guest speaker at the various events, commercials and shows. You can access these videos by visiting our Family Law Videos.

From Child Support Woes to Spousal Support: DSF’s Family Law Seminar

John has authored the following papers:

John has acted as counsel for the following reported decisions:

Apart from being an excellent family lawyer in Toronto, he is an avid swimmer, paddler and cyclist and retains an interest in pre-hospital emergency care.

News and Media


John regularly contributes to the DSF Blog.

John regularly contributes to the DSF Podcasts.

He is also very often a guest speaker at the various events, commercials and shows. You can access these videos by visiting our Family Law Videos.

John was interviewed on Divorce Source Radio about children in separation and divorce.


Sharing the Holidays After Separation with John Schuman

Sharing the children during holidays is one of the most difficult challenges after separation or divorce. Family Lawyer, John Schuman, gives helpful tips on parenting and Family Law in this video edition of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.

John Schuman comments on Canada-wide arrest warrant issued for a mother alleged to have abducted 2 kids in Winnipeg

“It’s very serious,” said lawyer John Schuman, who specializes in family law and custody issues. “A no contact order means no one trusts that parent enough to spend any time with that child without that parent causing harm to the child. That would be exceptionally rare. It would be an exceptionally bad circumstance.”

John Schuman is regularly interviewed by Real Estate 101

Watch all of John Schuman's appearances on Real Estate 101 show here.

Who Determines Custody of a Child?

Richard Cloutier talks to family lawyer John Schuman about how custody of a child is determined on CJOB.

Spanking Sentences - Canada AM

John Schuman discusses spanking sentences on Canada AM.

Park ‘N Fly Damages - Global Toronto

John Schuman discusses recent Park 'N Fly Damages on Global News.


Family Law Seminar January 20, 2015 - Video Archive

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1. Introduction - John P. Schuman (00.00)
2. Equalization of "What?" - Property Division on Marriage Breakdown - F. Timothy Deeth (02.40)
3. Equalization of net family properties and Common Law Couples - Michelle Farb (16.07)
4. Weird and Archaic Solutions to Bad Financial Separations (Trust Claims) - John P. Schuman (17.10)
5. Immigration Consequences of Relationship Breakdowns - Asher I. Frankel (36.57)
6. Bad Ideas in Custody Cases "Outside the Box" Strategies that People Use - Rachel Healey (51.20)
7. Difficult Spousal Support Issues post "Guidelines" - Kerri Parslow (1.08.58)
8. Keeping Your Scary Spouse Away with a Restraining Order - Sarah Falzon (1.19.48)
9. Why going to Family Mediation Without Consulting a Lawyer is like Playing Dodgeball Blindfolded - Todd E. Slonim (1.26.08)
10. How to Keep Yourself from Getting Played - The Benefits of a Marriage Contract or Cohabitation Agreement - Julie Tyas (1.35.15)
11. Questions and Answer Session (1.45.11)

Presentation Handouts - Common Legal Mistakes in Separation / Divorce

Recorded January 20, 2015


Of interest to:

Therapists, social workers, mediators, non-family law lawyers, marriage counselors, accountants, financial planners, doctors or anyone who might have questions regarding any family law related issues. We will be presenting basic family law and common family law “misconceptions” for helping professionals to understand how things might work out for their clients.


  • Difficult spousal support issues post “Guidelines”;
  • Keeping your scary spouse away with a restraining order;
  • Why going to Family Mediation without consulting a lawyer is like playing dodge ball blindfolded;
  • Immigration consequences of relationship breakdown;
  • Bad ideas in custody cases – “outside the box” strategies that people use;
  • Equalization of “What?” – property division on marriage breakdown;
  • Equalization of net family properties and common law couples;
  • Weird and archaic solutions to bad financial separations (trust claims);
  • How to keep yourself from getting played – the benefits of a marriage contract or cohabitation agreement
DSF’s Family Law Seminar

From Child Support Woes to Spousal Support

To view presentations from our recent Family Law Seminar or any other seminars we organized in the past, please visit Presentations page.

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